President of the Republic of Senegal, His Excellency Macky Sall, has described Aliko Dangote, President of Dangote Group, as a blessing to Senegal and Africa as a whole.
He lauded the entrepreneurial and philanthropic activities of the frontline businessman and said, the highest civilian award in Senegal, the National Order of the Lion Award, was bestowed on Dangote, in recognition of the successful partnership between Senegal and the Dangote Group.
In the same vein, the Federal Government, of Nigeria also commended Dangote for enhancing Nigeria’s reputation across Africa. Counsellor/Head of Chancery at the Nigerian Embassy in Dakar, Musa Abdulqadir made the commendation while speaking on Friday at the conferment of the Commander of the Order of the Lion on Aliko Dangote by the Senegalese President, His Excellency Macky Sall.
He said that Dangote Cement is regarded as having the best quality in the Senegalese market, which has helped to create a favourable perception of Nigeria in the country. According to him, Dangote Cement has become a household name, which has rebranded Nigeria and Nigerians in Senegal and proves that quality goods can be produced by Nigerian companies.
In his acceptance remarks, Dangote urged African investors to scale up their investments in the continent, reiterating that “only Africans can develop Africa as they understand the continent better than foreigners.” He said they should consider it a patriotic duty to continue to invest in Africa, especially in the manufacturing sector. He stated that this vision has propelled Dangote Cement to become Africa’s leading cement producer with 52.0Mta capacity across the continent while effectively eliminating Nigeria’s dependence on imported cement.
Dangote, who commended the government and good people of Senegal for the award, described it as a clarion call to spearhead Africa’s rapid industrialisation. “I regard this award as a call to do more in terms of investments across Africa as appreciating the efforts of African investors in creating value across the continent will spur them to do more. There is an urgent need to move Africa from the export of raw and unprocessed materials and a net importer of finished goods to self-sufficiency in the manufacturing of goods where the basic inputs are available,” he said.
According to him, the decision to invest in Senegal is part of Dangote Group’s Pan-African vision of creating value and providing thousands of direct and indirect jobs. Dangote who called on African entrepreneurs to invest in other African countries said, “Our cement plant in Pout, Senegal is one of our leading success stories across Africa. It is contributing to the Senegalese economy in taxes, direct and indirect jobs, and a boost of ancillary sectors such as block-making, and building projects, among others. The plant has also contributed to the welfare of its host communities with several corporate social responsibility projects.”
Recall that Dangote had earlier been conferred with the Commander of the National Order of Valour of the Republic of Cameroon, the Grand Commander of the National Order of the Republic of Benin, and Commander of the Order of Merit of Niger. He was also honoured with the Grand Commander, Order of the Niger (GCON) by the Nigerian Government.